Charlotte Rains Dixon  

Reading Round-up

Well, the end of Memorial Day weekend is upon us and mine has been a relaxing one, as you might have noticed given the lack of blog posts.  I actually went away for part of the weekend and did not take my computer with me.  I know, hard to believe.  And I only prevailed upon my hostess to let me use her computer to check my email twice.  (By the way, Michelle has a blog but I don't have the address.  I'll have to come back and update this post with it when I get it from her.  She is an esthetician extraordinaire, and gave me my first facial.

But with all this relaxation comes the chance to read, and I've actually gotten quite a bit of it in.  I was in Eugene, where back in the dark ages I got my undergrad, and one of my favorite places to go there is the U of O Bookstore, what they now call The Duck Store.  I bought two books there:

Comfort, by Ann Hood
Girls Like Us, by Sheila Weller

And thus I have realized that the theme of this post is Strong Women and Creativity.  Because the other book I've been hauling around with me is none other than:

The Host, by Stephenie Meyer,

She of Twilight fame.  (For the uninitiated, Twilight is the first in a series of vampire books aimed at YA readers which adult women apparently go nuts over also.  They are filming the movie, with Catherine Hardwicke directing, here in town.  In even better news for Portlanders, they are also filming The Road, and Viggo Mortensen is in town.  He's almost as good as Brad Pitt.  Grudgingly, I admit he may even be better.  Check out this link to the small press Viggo runs. Plus he's half Danish.  Viggo, baby, me too!)

I read Comfort in one day.  Its the tragic story of the death of the author's daughter Grace, when she was just five.  One day Grace was a vibrant, funny little girl and the next day she was dead.  Hood also went over this territory in her novel, The Knitting Circle, which I thought the better book.  The slim memoir she just released seems a bit too much like collected essays to me.  Nothing wrong with that, but its not acknowledged until the the very end of the book that many of the chapters had been published in magazines.  I suspected as much, because there's a lot of repetition in the book.  I like Ann Hood's writing a lot, though, and I'm glad I read it.

I'm told that The Host is an incredible page-turner but I've not yet gotten to that point in it.  I'm excited about it, though.  And I'm also excited about the Sheila Weller book, which is a biography of Carly Simon, Carole King, and Joni Mitchell.  I'll probably read both these books at the same time.  They are both hefty tomes, so I won't be carrying them around at the same time, though.

As for the creativity books, I'm delving back into them as background for an ebook and workshop I'm preparing on Writing Abundance.  I'll be presenting the workshop as part of the Path and Pen conference in Nashville in September, as I've mentioned before.  And I'm hoping to set up workshops in Portland, Eugene, and LA this summer.  If anyone in any of those towns (or really anywhere along the west coast) is interested, drop me a line.

Anyway, I'm reading the old standby, the classic and still the best:

The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.

However, a hot contender is:

The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life, by Twyla Tharp.

And now, if you will excuse me, I need to go read.

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